The 8th annual Red Hook Crit at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal featured some of the finest racing in the history of the series, as experienced athletes and ambitious newcomers all fought for a place on the podium at the kickoff event for the 2015 Championship Series.
Ivan Ravaioli celebrates his dramatic win in the Men’s Criterium at this weekend’s Red Hook Crit Championship Series opener at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
Victory in the men’s criterium was earned in breathtaking fashion by one of the favorites, Ivan Ravaioli of Italy. While a relative newcomer to the Crit, Ravaioli came to the start line with an impressive racing pedigree, which includes being a World Tour rider as well as starts in classics such as the Milan - SanRemo and a grand tour start at the Giro d’Italia. He displayed his strength and ability in his debut at Milan last year and bested Luis Junquera of Spain by a mere wheel length after an impressive attack in the final sprint to the finish. The race was transformed with three laps to go when a crash took out the first prime winner Mario Paz Duque, top antagonist winner Chas Christiansen and many other pre-race favorites.
This year’s top finishers gather on the podium. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
Mexico’s newcomer, Raul Torres, finished in a close 3rd. Professional mountain bike racer and 2014 Series Champion, Thibaud Lhenry, earned pole position after fastest qualifier and previous Red Hook Crit winner Stefan Vis crashed out with a broken collar bone. Lhenry earned a sixth place finish after an incredibly strong race. The Rockstar Award for Top Antagonist from the men’s field was taken by San Francisco native Chas Christiansen representing Mash SF.
Ivan Ravaioli beating out Luis Junquera by a wheel length at the finish line.
Team Cinelli Chrome’s Alfred Bobe Jr. during the afternoon’s qualifying session. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
For the Women’s Criterium, Kacey Manderfield Lloyd, who most notably won the inaugural Red Hook Crit in 2008, qualified in pole position and placed third behind Fleur Faure and winner Ainara Elbusto Artega. With the win, Artega positioned herself as this year’s rider to beat in the women’s field. She also won the 2014 women’s series after sweeping both primes and taking the win at Barcelona, and securing a prime before taking 2nd in Milan last year. She is also a UCI World Cup contender and multi-time podium finisher at the Spanish National Championships. Her constant attacks on the front, and phenomenal strength earned her the Rockstar Award for Top Antagonist in addition to the win.
Artega crosses the finish against the backdrop of the winner’s podium and the Statue of Liberty. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
Turn seven of the women’s criterium. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
Congratulations are in order to all the athletes who competed in the day’s events, including Eliud Ngetich, who won the 5k race with a blazing 14:21. Also, a huge thank you to all the Red Hook Crit staff who work tirelessly to make these events happen, as well as the Red Hook Crit volunteers without whom none of this would be possible.
Men’s qualifying group 1 on the starting grid. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]
Distance runner Eliud ‘Heldy’ Ngetich sets a blistering pace in the 5k race that preceded the finals for the Women’s and Men’s Criterium. [Photo: Takuya Sakamoto]